Yashin Award

For a goalkeeper, the Yashin Award completes a dream. The award was introduced to honor the memory of the late goalkeeper Lev Yashin (USSR) and is presented to the top goalie of any given FIFA World Cup tournament. The FIFA Technical Study Group decides on the finest goalkeeper while taking into consideration the performance of the player during the course of the tournament. The prestigious Yashin Award was introduced in 1994 and went to Belgium’s Michel Preud'homme for his outstanding performances at the 1994 FIFA World Cup tournament.

Lev Ivanovich Yashin was a Russian-Soviet football goalkeeper. He was arguably the greatest goalkeeper to have graced our planet. He was celebrated for his lightning fast reflex saves and his formidable presence at the posts. Yashin was voted the 20th century’s best goalkeeper by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).

“What kind of a goalkeeper is the one who is not tormented by the goal he has allowed? He must be tormented! And if he is calm, that means the end. No matter what he had in the past, he has no future,” proclaimed the late Lev Yashin; a proclamation that would have most goalkeepers nodding in agreement.

The Yashin Award is noted for its exclusivity. It can be presented only to a goalkeeper and also cannot prevent the particular goalkeeper from competing for the Golden Ball award. In 2002, Oliver Khan, the German goalkeeper was awarded both the Golden Ball and the Yashin Award.

“The conditions you need to be a good goalkeeper are exactly the same conditions you need to be a good sculptor. You must have a very good connection, in both professions, with time and space,” said Eduardo Chillida, a famous Spanish sculptor. You can’t help but agree. A goalkeeper’s job is not an easy one; it deserves top honors and the Yashin Award aims at accomplishing just that.

Winners of Lev Past Yashin Award 

*The list of players who have won the Yashin Award is given below.

Michel Preud'homme
Fabien Barthez
Oliver Kahn
Gianluigi Buffon